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Does Sleeping On Your Face Cause Wrinkles?

Editor's Note: This article has been recently updated with latest information and research studies.

There are many positions that people tend to sleep in on a regular basis. However, they are classified as three main positions – back, side, and stomach. Most people will sleep in the same position every night although some toss and turn, changing positions due to a restless sleep. Most of the population sleeps on their side, back sleepers are in the middle and the last group (7%) sleep on their stomach. The only position that doesn’t cause sleep wrinkles is sleeping on your back.

How Does Sleeping on Your Face Cause Wrinkles?

It has long been told that sleeping on your face can cause wrinkles. This is basically true because you those that habitually sleep on their face for years can find themselves with what is called sleep wrinkles. These are not permanent like a wrinkle from aging but it has been found that perhaps this may lead to a loss of circulation in that area, which creates less* production of elastin and collagen. Elastin and collagen are things that are naturally lost as we age. While younger people’s skin may bounce back after a long period of sleeping in a position that causes sleep wrinkles, those that are older may find that their skin doesn’t bounce back quite as fast and more wrinkles are seen. In fact, continuous sleep wrinkles can develop into real wrinkles over time.

What are The Sleep Positions to Prevent Wrinkling?

The best way to prevent sleep wrinkling is by sleeping on your back instead of your side where the face is not pressed into the pillow. Not everyone can sleep on their back though and some naturally revert to their old sleeping habits. It can help to have a silk pillow case in that case because the silk doesn’t wrinkle the skin quite so much. Memory Foam or Beauty Pillows can also help since they form to the face instead of remaining hard against the skin. Another way to prevent reverting to side sleeping is to use a u-shaped pillow around your neck which can help prevent rolling onto your side. There are actual statistics that show that most people change positions around 20 times when they sleep and most people spend time sleeping on their sides (around 60%) while only about 33% sleep on their backs. This certainly explains some of the sleep wrinkles that people experience. While sleeping on your back is good for not causing wrinkles as well as keeping your spine more stable, many find it difficult due to issues such as acid reflux and sleep apnea. It can help to elevate* your head area to reduce* some of the discomfort.

While sleep wrinkles are not quite the same thing as wrinkles caused by aging, they are still a concern for those that are older or already have wrinkles. There are many products on the market that can help with some of the concerns such as loss of elasticity and collagen. By utilizing some of these anti-aging products, you may see a noticeable difference in wrinkles and have more collagen and elasticity in your skin. Along with having the correct sleep position, if possible, you may just be able to stave off some of the signs of wrinkling, including those caused by your sleep patterns. If you cannot change to sleeping on your back due to medical reasons, discomfort, or simply that you unconsciously change positions during the night, invest in a better* pillow case or pillow with foam that will keep your face from wrinkling while you sleep. There are even anti-aging pillows that may help – one that was found contains copper fibers which supposedly moisturizes your face while you sleep. This one is called the Illuminage Skin Rejuvinating Pillow. This one has been clinically studied but no reviews were found on how well it worked for those that bought it. The one thing about cotton pillowcases is that not only do they cause sleep wrinkles but they also soak up your moisturizer and dry out your skin – so there is another reason to consider investing in a silk pillowcase or a pillowcase created specifically for the skin. If you still want to keep a cotton pillowcase then invest in one that forms to cradle the head or neck area and keep your face off of it. These are meant to keep your face away from the pillowcase and come in a variety of styles and shapes. Another good reason to stay away from cotton is that it tangles your hair, while silk does not.

It’s up to you to make the best decision on what kind of pillow to choose that may help your sleep patterns but it is a good idea to at least try out something new to keep those sleep wrinkles away.